Cup draw pits Albert against Gala

Hawick Royal Albert boss Mick Murphy
Hawick Royal Albert boss Mick Murphy

HAWICK Royal Albert will face local rivals Gala Fairydean in the first round of the Scottish Cup.

And after initial discussions it looks as though the tie will be played at Selkirk’s Yarrow Park.

Fairydean’s name was drawn out first, but there will be no home game for Gala as their Netherdale pitch is being relaid with a new 3G surface.

There was talk of the match being played at Coldstream, but it looks as though a compromise has been struck and Selkirk will be the neutral venue for the tie.

And Albert boss Mick Murphy admitted he is delighted with the draw. He told the Hawick News: “Apart from the game not being at Albert Park, I don’t think I could have asked for a better draw.

“Playing Gala Fairydean suits us just fine. They’re a Border team, they play in the same division as us and we know what to expect from them.

“We could have ended up playing in the Highlands, so to have a game in the Borders is great.”

As an example of the journeys Royalists could have faced, Selkirk have been drawn away to Nairn County, while Coldstream face the mammoth trip to Wick Academy.

Murphy added: “Because we won’t be able to play at Netherdale it’s going to be an away game for both sides and you can’t get anything more even than that.” In their two encounters last season, Royalists lost out to the Fairies at Netherdale, but were denied victory with a last-gasp leveller at Albert Park.

And Murphy is looking forward to another entertaining encounter.

He said: “The game will attract a big crowd. These matches always get a good following and with this one being the Scottish Cup I think even more people will come along.

“It’s a massive occasion for both Hawick and Gala as the Scottish Cup is the most important of all the competitions we play in.

“Anything can happen in a Borders derby game like this and although we’ll be outsiders, I think we could get a result as we’re improving in every game.

“It’s a great chance for us to do well and we’ll really be up for it.”

The match takes place on September 24.